Former Section 9 Players Give Advice to High School Players Looking to Play at the Next Level

By Sean Lynch

S9Hoops.com Creator

Over the last few months, I’ve had this idea. The idea was to gather as many former Section 9 basketball players as possible, and give current high school players a realistic look at what lies ahead after high school hoops is over.

This week, I talked with seven former Section 9 players that are currently playing in college. These players played in Class AA thru Class C in high school and are now playing Division I thru JUCO in college.

Each of them gave Section 9 players a piece of advice for playing basketball in college.

If you’re playing Section 9 basketball (or even high school basketball) and look to play in college, I highly recommend reading this.

If you’re a parent seeking advice for what mindset your son or daughter has to have in order to be successful playing college basketball, I highly recommend reading this.

My plan is to update this list as frequently as possible with as many names as possible. If you’re reading this and would like to include your name, send me an email at SeanLynch845Sports@gmail.com or a direct message on Twitter: @SeanLynch845

Boys

Division III

Scott Reisert

Height & position: 6-foot-5 forward

High School: Minisink Valley ’15

Reisert played at SUNY Orange from 2015-17, and after taking a year off, is a first-year transfer at SUNY New Paltz.

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Scott Reisert Photo Credit: SUNY New Paltz Athletics

College: SUNY New Paltz junior

College stats from the 2018-19 season (as of February 15th):

23 games started

12.3 points per game

5.9 rebounds per game

28 blocks

Advice to current Section 9 basketball players: “One piece of advice for kids playing at next level is to take time to learn the game and win the mental battle to give yourself an edge —  especially if you aren’t as athletically gifted as other players.”

Cory Garcia

Height & position: 6-foot guard

High School: Highland ’15

Garcia is a four-year player at SUNY New Paltz.

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Cory Garcia, Photo Credit: SUNY New Paltz Athletics

College: SUNY New Paltz senior

College stats from the 2018-19 season (as of February 15th): 

22 games started

6.5 points per game

5.1 rebounds per game

3 assists per game

Advice to current Section 9 basketball players: “Being a college basketball player for four years takes dedication and the overcoming of adversity along the way.”

Bobby Olsen

6-foot-6 forward

High School: S.S Seward ’16

Olsen played from SUNY Orange from 2016-18 and transferred to Penn State Abington in September. During the summer, he’s an assistant coach with the AAU program, O.C. Kings.

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Bobby Olsen (left) grabbing a rebound over two defenders during his days with S.S Seward

College: Penn State Abington junior

College stats from the 2018-19 season (as of February 15th):

18 games started

11.5 points per game

5.8 rebounds per game

52% field goal percentage (leads team)

Advice to current Section 9 basketball players: “First, you must find a school that fulfills your needs academically. Academics are the most important because one day you’re going to stop playing and you’ll need a solid education to support yourself. When you find the right school and basketball program, you’ll know, and before you know it you’ll be playing in your first college basketball game. It’s important to continue adding to your skills throughout your college career, never be satisfied! Trust your coaches and teammates, but most importantly enjoy yourself. It is a gift to be able to continue playing after high school, so make the best of your opportunity and remain focused.”


JUCO

Tanner McFarlane

Height & position: 5-foot-10 guard

High School: Burke Catholic —> Tennessee Prep Academy ’17

McFarlane played a few games during his junior season at Burke Catholic. He transferred to Tennessee Prep Academy the following season and enrolled at SUNY Orange this September.

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Tanner McFarlane

College: SUNY Orange Freshman

College stats from 2018-19 season (as of February 15th): 

21 games started

16.3 points per game

5 assists per game

4 rebounds per game

Advice to current Section 9 basketball players: “At the next level you have to be ready to play at a faster pace. Every play matters. You have to make the game simple and play smart . Also you need to be able to take constructive criticism and outwork your man every play. You need to trust in your teammates and work as one to have a successful season.”

Zion Williams 

Height & position: 6-foot-5 guard

High School: Valley Central —> Washington Academy (N.C) ‘18

Williams played for Valley Central in 2015, then transferred to Washington Academy in North Carolina. When he’s not in school, he’s a trainer at GymRatz Performance Center in Florida, NY.

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Zion Williams (Right)

College: Wallace State Community College-Hanceville (Alabama) Freshman

College stats from the 2018-19 season (as of February 15th): 

26 games started

7.6 points per game

3.7 rebounds per game

2.2 assists per game

Advice to current Section 9 basketball players: “Never give up on the things that you want to achieve! Continue to trust the process and prepare yourselves on-and-off the court for the next level! Take the classroom and weight room serious because at the next level everyone is going to be bigger stronger and faster and if you can grasp hold of the lifestyle and how hard you have to work in high school, it will be an easier transition when jumping to the college level.”


Girls

Division I

Kate Cain

Height & position: 6-foot-5 center

High school: Pine Bush ’17

Cain was a Section 9 standout with the Bushmen, averaging 25 points per game, 10 rebounds per game, and a whopping ten blocks per game in her senior season.

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Kate Cain (middle) with Pine Bush

College: Nebraska sophomore

College honors:

Big Ten All-Defensive Team (2018)

Big Ten All-Freshman Team (2018)

Nebraska Season Block Record (100)

Nebraska Single Game Block Record (11 vs. Florida Atlantic, Dec. 19, 2017)

First Points-Rebounds-Blocks Triple-Double in School History

College stats from the 2018-19 season (as of February 15th):

25 games started

7.4 points per game

6.2 rebounds per game

Advice to current Section 9 basketball players: “Stick it out through the highs and the lows. There’s gonna be times where basketball is going great and your team is winning and those times are easy to get through, but the times where you hit slumps and lose confidence get rough. Regardless, just keep pushing and working hard and know the goal that you set out and don’t look back.”


Division III

Katie Smith

Height & position: 5-foot-5 guard

High School: Goshen ’17

After a splendid career with the Gladiators, Smith is in the middle of her second season at Mount Saint Mary, She is the starting point guard for the Knights, helping them to a 20-4 record.

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Katie Smith (far right)

College: Mount Saint Mary sophomore

College stats from the 2018-19 season (as of February 15th): 

23 games started

10.5 points per game

44% from the field

2.4 rebounds per game

3.1 assists per game

Advice to current Section 9 basketball players: “Advice I would give to a player looking to play at the next level is to stay positive and have a next-play mentality (meaning don’t focus on the last play and what you did wrong, focus on what you can do to help your team in the next play), because the game is 90% mental. Also get a lot of shots up before, during, and/or after practice because repetition is key to playing well in games!”